Tuesday, November 01, 2005
On Tim Chapman, Chris Matthews, and Mu
The following was sent to TownHall in the hope that editor Jonathan Garthwaite could explain the matter to me.
I had no idea that Townhall was into Zen. But Tim Chapman's column is so completely perplexing that it could be a koan.
Chapman concurs with Chris Matthews's criticism of a document by "the Democrats," that in turn criticizes Samuel Alito, but the link goes in circular fashion to the same page. So, Matthews's comments are not linked, the source of the document is left unidentified, and otherwise the reader is left in a thick fog of perfect dark.
Deprived of any explanation of what it is that is "disgusting," we examine the document. The document gives an instance of what would appear to be prosecutorial incompetence by Alito, and alleges that his rulings have brought into question the key qualification of any judicial candidate: can *all* Americans, not just my friends and associates enter his courtroom confident that they will be subject to the same law to which everyone is subject. The further point that Alito seems to be an activist legislating from the bench should be of considerable interest to conservatives, who say they want to end the practice.
These all seem to me to be legitimate subjects to discuss for a job interview for a lifetime appointment to one of the highest posts in the land. I'm certainly willing to be persuaded of the opposite, but what Chapman has presented leaves me convinced only that he's arguing from feeling and not from reason. And, um, that he needs an editor.
I took the quest a step further. In the closest thing I could find to a transcript, on WorldNet Daily, Matthews bases his *whole* argument on the fact that the case of prosecutorial incompetence was listed first and involved the prosecution of the Mafia. Even Matthews concedes that mentioning an "ethnically-charged issue" could be a coincidence. But the Mafia case also happens to be chronologically first in Scalito's career. Right after law clerk, before becoming Deputy Attorney General. So, it's no coincidence to mention this case first. It's the natural placement for it.
In the end, we are left with an unsourced charge from a document we don't know anything about circulated by anonymous people who Chris Matthews says are "the Democrats," and which mentions a case of prosecutorial incompetence involving the Mafia first. And the connection of this to ethnic prejudice is...
Someone ring a gong.
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